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UPDATE 2-Morgan Stanley profit soars on wealth management, trading
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  13:15
(Adds details, CFO comment, updates share price)By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Anil D'SilvaApril 17 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley reported a 55 percent jump in first-quarter earnings as higher revenue from its institutional securities business augmented another strong quarter from wealth management, sending shares in the Wall Street bank higher.The sixth-largest U....

Blackstone exec doesn't expect move into commodities in near term
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  18:13
NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP is unlikely to make a foray into commodity trading in the short term as the world's largest alternative asset manager struggles to find a target to fit its asset-light business model, a senior executive said on Thursday.In his first earnings call with reporters since Blackstone lost out to Mercuria to buy JPMorgan Chase & Co's physical commodity division, Blackstone President Tony James said he is still interested in broadening the company's revenue through commodities....

Virtu indefinitely postpones IPO - WSJ
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  20:53
April 17 (Reuters) - High-speed trading firm Virtu Financial Inc has indefinitely postponed its initial public offering plans, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.The move comes as high-frequency trading (HFT) is under intense scrutiny, following the release of author Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt"....

UPDATE 3-Blackstone earnings rise 30 pct on private equity gains
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  20:27
* Total assets under management up 25 pct y/y to $272 bln as of end-March* 1st qtr ENI per share of 70 cts vs 55 cts in Thomson Reuters analyst poll* 1st qtr distributable earnings at $485 mln, up 24 pct y/y (Adds closing share price paragraph 2)By Greg RoumeliotisNEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative asset manager, reported a 30 percent increase in first-quarter earnings on strong gains in its private equity arm which more than offset small declines in its real estate unit.The results, buoyed by asset sales and a strong appreciation in Blackstone's buyout funds that outpaced the wider stock market, beat most analysts' expectations....

First post-default Greek bond starts rewarding investors
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  15:31
* Greek five-year bonds fall below 4.95 pct issuance level* Bond's market performance key for success of future sales* Italy raises 20.6 bln in bumper BTP Italia sale* Portugal schedules auction with bailout exit in sight (Updates prices and details)By Marius ZahariaLONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - The yield on the first bond Greece has sold since its 2012 default fell below its issuance level on Thursday as Athens rejoined a rally in peripheral debt markets after a brief period of selling pressure....

UPDATE 3-BlackRock's quarterly profit jumps as investors pile into funds
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  16:45
(Adds comments from analysts, details on earnings results)By Ashley LauNEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, said on Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 20 percent, boosted by strong performance fees and strength in its retail business as investors poured money into long-term funds.The New York-based asset manager, which now manages $4....

UPDATE 1-Ex-BP employee settles SEC insider-trading oil spill case
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  17:18
(Adds details of case, background and comment from attorney)By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - A former 20-year veteran of BP plc who oversaw the company's cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will pay more than $224,000 to settle civil charges alleging he used non-public information about the disaster to commit insider-trading, U....

UPDATE 2-Amid frigid winter, Goldman, Morgan Stanley see commodity gains
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  17:22
* Goldman says commodity revenue "significantly higher"* Morgan Stanley says "strong performance" bolstered FICC* Weather volatility, client business fuel growth-Morgan CFO* "Starting to see" benefits of rivals scaling back-Goldman (Updates with Goldman quotes, details throughout)By David Sheppard and Lauren Tara LaCapraLONDON/NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley both cited stronger commodities trading as a bright spot in the first quarter, aided in part by extraordinary volatility caused by the coldest U.S....

UPDATE 2-Chipotle raising prices as steak, avocados, cheese costs rise
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  17:43
(Adds company comment, details on food costs, byline)By Lisa BaertleinApril 17 (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on Thursday said it will increase menu prices for the first time in nearly three years, fueled by all-time high costs for steak as well increasingly expensive avocados and cheese.Shares of the popular burrito chain jumped as much as 6....

Argentina forced by ailing economy to change populist policies
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  14:20
By Hugh BronsteinBUENOS AIRES, April 17 (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is reversing some of the populist policies that defined her first six years in power and will have little choice but to stick to the new, more pragmatic path over the remaining 20 months of her final term.Confronted by falling dollar reserves, a weak economy and high inflation, Fernandez has in the past three months cut heating gas subsidies and let the peso devalue by 18 percent....

COLUMN-More commodities being used for China financing, risks rising: Clyde Russell
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  05:01
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--By Clyde RussellLAUNCESTON, Australia, April 17 (Reuters) - In an otherwise upbeat report on the outlook for China's gold demand, the World Gold Council (WGC) slipped in some details about the use of the precious metal for credit deals....

UPDATE 2-Lloyds Bank buys back private investors' ECN bonds
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  07:34
* Investors agree to sell bonds worth nominal 58.5 mln stg* Offer had been criticised by activist investor* Pays between 104 and 144 percent of nominal value (Adds details, background)LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group said on Thursday that private retail investors holding 58....

First post-default Greek bond starts rewarding investors
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  11:08
* Greek five-year bonds fall below 4.95 pct issuance level* Bond's market performance key for success of future sales* Italy raises 20.6 bln in bumper BTP Italia sale (Updates with new prices, Italian debt sale, adds fresh comments)By Marius ZahariaLONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - The yield on the first bond Greece has sold since its 2012 default dipped just below its issuance level on Thursday as Athens rejoined a rally in peripheral debt markets after a brief period of selling pressure....

Louis Dreyfus appoints ex-Cargill executive to senior role
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  12:16
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Agricultural trading house Louis Dreyfus Commodities has appointed Gert-Jan van den Akker as Head of Regions, company sources said on Thursday.Van den Akker was previously executive vice president Asia Pacific at Cargill and its global leader for energy, transportation and metals....

UPDATE 2-Goldman Sachs profit falls 11 pct but beats estimates
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  12:41
(Adds details and background, updates shares)By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Tanya AgrawalApril 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported an 11 percent drop in quarterly profit as client activity remained constrained and fixed-income revenue shrank, but both earnings and revenue beat market estimates and the Wall Street bank's shares rose.Goldman said net income fell to $1....

UPDATE 1-Chipotle profit up 8 pct as more diners visit its outlets
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  12:53
* First-quarter EPS $2.64 vs est. $2.86* Sales rise 24.4 pct to $904.2 mln; same-restaurant sales rise 13.4 pct* Raises full-year same-restaurant sales forecast* Shares up 6 pct premarket (Adds forecast, details on food costs, updates shares)April 17 (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc raised its full-year sales forecast after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue as sales surged at established restaurants....

UPDATE 2-BlackRock's first-quarter profit rises 20 percent
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  12:54
(Adds comments from CEO Laurence Fink, details on earnings)By Ashley LauNEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, said on Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 20 percent, boosted by strong performance fees and strength in its retail business as investors poured money into long-term funds.The New York-based asset manager, which now manages $4....

UPDATE 1-Blackstone earnings rise 30 pct, boosted by private equity gains
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  12:56
* Total assets under management up 25 pct y/y to $272 bln as of end-March* Q1 ENI per share of 70 cents vs 55 cents in Thomson Reuters analyst poll* Q1 distributable earnings at $485 million, up 24 pct y/y (Adds more details from the earnings, share reaction)By Greg RoumeliotisNEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative asset manager, reported a 30 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, driven by strong gains in its private equity arm that more than offset small declines in its real estate unit.The results, driven by assets sales and a strong appreciation in Blackstone's buyout funds that outpaced the wider stock market, beat most analysts' expectations and sent Blackstone's shares up 4 percent in pre-market trading....

UPDATE 3-UK's Co-op laments worst year after 2.5 bln pound loss
(REUTERS)
04/17/2014  |  13:53
* Loss includes bank recapitalisation, Somerfield charge* Acting CEO says 2013 a disastrous year* More than 100 offers for pharmacy, farms businesses* CEO says lending banks are supportive* Group undecided over whether to inject more cash in bank (Adds comments from CEO)By Matt Scuffham and Paul SandleLONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Britain's Co-operative Group made a loss of 2.5 billion pounds ($4....

U.S. calls for more investment-friendly Indian government
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  23:54
By David BrunnstromWASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday urged the Indian government that emerges from ongoing elections to follow economic policies that encourage investment, saying Washington would like to see bilateral trade grow to $500 billion a year.Nisha Biswal, U....

UPDATE 1-Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  21:43
(Recasts with vote by general retirement system board, adds comments from law professor)April 16 (Reuters) - The board of Detroit's General Retirement System on Wednesday approved economic terms of a settlement with the city that include cuts to pension benefits, putting in place another key component of Detroit's effort to exit bankruptcy by October.The city also has a tentative pact with its other pension fund, the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System, whose board is expected to vote later this week....

Crashes in crucial U.S. crude waterway hit 10-year low
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  18:26
By Anna Louie Sussman and Terry WadeNEW YORK/HOUSTON, April 16 (Reuters) - Serious crashes in the bustling Bay of Galveston have fallen to the lowest level in a decade even as more oil moves on U.S....

ANALYSIS-After years of downsizing, refining still matters for majors
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  15:37
* Majors shift refining away from developed markets* Downstream returns could be on the rise for majors* Technology, access to new regions helps retain downstreamBy Dmitry ZhdannikovLONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - When U.S....

ANALYSIS-Euro strength here to stay, unless ECB steps in
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  14:55
* Stronger euro exchange rate seen triggering ECB action* Investors' return to euro stocks, bonds boosts currency* Money printing in U.S., Japan piles pressure on euro* European quantitative easing could offset such pressureBy Anirban Nag and Eva TaylorLONDON/FRANKFURT, April 16 (Reuters) - Many of the factors driving the euro exchange rate to levels that have set off alarm bells at the European Central Bank are unlikely to go away on their own, part of the reason the bank has been threatening action....

REFILE-UPDATE 3-Credit Suisse hit by weak investment bank performance
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  13:07
(Corrects typographical error in first paragraph)* Credit Suisse Q1 net profit 859 mln Sfr vs poll 1.155 bln* Aims to pay dividend at least at 2013 level of 0....

Ex Co-op bank chairman Paul Flowers charged with drug possession
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  10:08
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers was charged on Wednesday with possessing illegal drugs, with the former Methodist minister to appear before magistrates next month, police said.West Yorkshire police said Flowers, 63, of Bradford in northern England, was charged with three offences of possessing drugs and was bailed to appear in court on May 7....

Megaupload's Dotcom, facing legal threat, launches political party
(REUTERS)
04/16/2014  |  12:24
* Kim Dotcom holds court at political party launch* Mansion, business ventures point to flourishing career* Successes overshadowed by lawsuits, extradition risk* Father-of-five divides opinion sharplyBy Naomi TajitsuAUCKLAND, April 16 (Reuters) - Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom holds court while bathing in the pool of a sprawling New Zealand mansion, fist bumping and chatting with some of the 700 guests gathered to celebrate the political party he launched last month to promote Internet freedom.His latest ultra-encrypted file storage site, Mega, will soon go public after a deal that values it at NZ$210 million ($180 million), and Baboom, an online streaming music service designed to bypass record companies, is nearing its hard launch....

COLUMN-Tech downdraft may spread: James Saft
(REUTERS)
04/15/2014  |  19:00
(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)By James SaftApril 15 (Reuters) - Calling the stock market downdraft a correction contained to technology may be both optimistic and premature....

Barclays' boss treads fine line in investment bank review
(REUTERS)
04/15/2014  |  14:21
* Investment bank dominates too much - investor* Jenkins seen cutting investment bank 10-20 pct -analyst* Bank faces backlash over bonuses at AGM April 24By Steve SlaterLONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Barclays' Chief Executive Antony Jenkins is facing a high-wire act to overhaul the firm's investment bank without undermining a division that contributes about half of group profits.Jenkins, criticised by investors and politicians for raising bonuses this year despite a big fall in earnings, has embarked on the third review of the investment bank in as many years in response to pressure to cut costs and improve returns, which lag other parts of the business such as Barclaycard....

UPDATE 1-Regulators ease rule curbing banks' exposures to customers
(REUTERS)
04/15/2014  |  12:56
* New rule takes effect in 2019* Covered bonds given effective exemption* Less strict treatment of credit default swaps (Recasts with more detail, background)By Huw JonesLONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Global regulators have eased a new rule limiting how much business a bank can undertake with a single customer, as they try to minimise the risk of fallout from a counterparty going bust without imposing excessive burdens on financial firms.Regulators want to avoid the damage to financial stability an insolvency can wreak, as seen with the collapse of U....

FX COLUMN-Food prices may support "cash in carry" plays
(REUTERS)
04/15/2014  |  10:11
-- Neal Kimberley is an FX market analyst for Reuters. The opinions expressed are his own --By Neal KimberleyLONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Investors tempted by borrow-low, invest-high carry trades and looking to buy Asian emerging- market currencies, may conclude that signs of rising global food prices bolster their argument....

UPDATE 1-China may have 1,000 tonnes of gold tied in financing - WGC
(REUTERS)
04/15/2014  |  08:42
* Estimates imply strong imports driven by trade financing deals* Imported gold used via loans, LCs to raise low cost funds* Total China demand to grow 25 pct over four years (Adds comments from Chinese banks, analysts)By A. AnanthalakshmiSINGAPORE, April 15 (Reuters) - Chinese firms could have locked up as much as 1,000 tonnes of gold in financing deals, an industry report said, indicating a big slice of imports has been used to raise funds due to tight credit conditions, rather than to meet consumer demand....

Spread better IG extends trading hours for U.S. stocks
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  10:47
LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) - Financial spread betting company IG Group has extended its trading hours on over 20 major U.S. stocks to help investors to make the most of trading opportunities during earnings season, it said on Monday....

UPDATE 3-U.S. appeals court finds conflict-minerals rule violates free speech
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  21:32
(Adds background, comments from trade groups and legal experts)By Sarah N. Lynch and Lawrence HurleyWASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Monday struck down parts of a regulation that forces public companies to disclose if their products contain "conflict minerals" from a war-torn part of Africa, saying it violates free speech rights....

FACTBOX-Commodity market squeezes of the past decade
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  18:52
(Reuters) - Arcadia Petroleum and Parnon Energy have entered talks to settle accusations that the energy traders illegally pocketed $50 million fixing the crude oil market in 2008, possibly ending the U.S....

UPDATE 2-US appeals court finds conflict-minerals rule violates free speech
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  19:04
(Adds details on ruling and quote from another judge, background on free speech cases, comment from SEC, byline)By Sarah N. Lynch and Lawrence HurleyWASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) - A U....

BG Group's Singapore trading move seen cutting big UK tax bill
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  13:52
* BG group is one of Britain's biggest taxpayers* Move could save $200 million in tax legitimately - campaigner* Comes despite government moves to attract and retain big firms* BG says any change in tax rate is a by-product not a driverBy Tom BerginLONDON, April 14 (Reuters) - When BG Group Plc announced last week it was shifting the headquarters of its oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading operation to Singapore from Britain, it said the aim was to get closer to its customers.Analysts and consultants agreed that the growing importance of Japanese and Korean utilities in the LNG market meant the move would have clear logistical and commercial benefits....

COLUMN-BHP's "unloved" assets may be better long-term bet: Clyde Russell
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  04:19
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--By Clyde RussellLAUNCESTON, Australia, April 14 (Reuters) - "Unloved" was a word that popped up several times in relation to BHP Billiton's mooted plans to spin-off its non-core aluminium, nickel and manganese businesses....

RPT-EU to approve bank rules before May election slows legislative machine
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  06:53
(Repeats story first published on April 13, text unchanged)By Huw JonesLONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - The European Union will sign off on a slew of major reforms this week to allow failing banks to be wound down without public money, clearing its desk before elections in May that may lead to a slower pace of legislation.This week is the final plenary session of the European Parliament before it breaks up ahead of the vote in May....

Ecom seeks EU approval to buy Armajaro coffee and cocoa trading arm
(REUTERS)
04/14/2014  |  09:33
BRUSSELS, April 14 (Reuters) - Swiss agricultural trader Ecom Agroindustrial has formally requested European Union regulatory approval for its acquisition of Armajaro Holdings' commodity trading arm to strengthen its position as one of the world's biggest cocoa and coffee dealers.The deal, announced in November, will give Ecom access to a vast logistics and storage network while forging ties with farmers from West Africa to south-east Asia and Peru....






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